Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We had four winners on top in eight races yesterday with the nightcap canceled due to a storm that moved into the area.

That sounds good, but nowadays with so many of us playing Pick 4 and Pick 5’s, hitting at a 50% clip is not always good enough.

Yesterday I played the early Pick 5 who starts with the first race and the Pick 4 which starts with the second race. My second choice won the opener, then my top pick won the next three races. That set me up for a couple of big scores, and on some of my tickets I was four deep in the final leg.

That is four out of the seven runners in the fifth race. One I did not have was the Todd Pletcher trained Seanow, who pulled off the upset returning $17.20. The $.50 Pick 5 paid $517.25 and the $.50 Pick 4 paid $131.50.

A good portion of my wagering over the first five races was tied into the Pick 4 and Pick 5, leaving me with nada.

Coming up on Saturday the feature at Belmont Park is the $200,000 Pennine Ridge (G3) which drew a field of eight fillies with Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown each sending out two contenders.

One of the biggest races of the weekend is the $500,000 Penn Mile (G2) at Penn National. The track, which has purses fueled by slots offers horseplayers the highest takeout rate on a trifecta in the U.S.

There is a 31% takeout on trifectas, and a 30% take on superfectas. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, tracks that have their purses fueled by slots or alternative gaming should not be fleecing their horseplayers with larcenous takeout rates.

So, I will pass at looking at Penn tomorrow and I suggest you guys do to.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday, and my Belmont Stakes Day Report.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Friday click here.

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Clm $20,000N3L (1:30 ET)

6 Golden Vale 3-1

5 Promise Me Roses 5-2

3 Simona 2-1

1 Reata's Reward / 1a Tayler's the Boss 7-2


Analysis: Golden Vale set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish going 6 1/2 furlongs against $14,000 non-winners of three. Cox has been on fire at the meeting, hitting at a 40% clip and this looks like a good spot for this filly cutting back to six furlongs. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and if Kendrick can shake loose early, she will be tough to run down here.

Promise Me Roses caught a sloppy track last out, was off a beat slow and not a threat in a fourth-place finish against $35,000 non-winners of three. Her last go on a fast track was a game second against $25,000 state breds three back. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and finds a good spot dropping in here for $20,000 or her third start off the claim by the RRod barn.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 3,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

BEL Race 8 OClm $100,000C (5:18 ET)

2 Big Handsome 5-2

7 Gidu 4-1

5 White Flag 2-1

8 Vici 8-1


Analysis: Big Handsome prompted the early pace, took over the lead in the stretch and did not have enough let inside the final furlong on a third-place finish over yielding turf here in the Elusive Quality at 6-5. The five-year-old has been better on firmer ground and might get it today although some rain fell yesterday. His last win came over the turf here at seven furlongs in the '17 Paradise Creek. He makes his third start off the nine-month layoff and looks like a good fit in this spot.

Gidu makes his first start since a fifth in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) at Santa Anita last December. He was prompting the early pace and weakened late while beaten just two lengths. His last trip at this distance was here winning the '18 Paradise Creek on firm ground off a 2 1/2 month break. The Pletcher barn is 23% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. Sharp morning works and Johnny V keeps the call.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,5,7,8
TRI: 2,7 / 2,5,7,8 / 2,5,7,8,9

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Belmont Park
R3: #9 Mad Munnys 15-1
R6: #11 Opt 10-1
R8: #8 Vici 8-1

Good luck today!

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